People want to add value, feel valued, and have someone supporting their development. Many individuals aren’t finding that in their workplace and leaving, whether it’s to pursue their personal priorities or for another role. With the Great Resignation and the Great Reshuffle in full swing, many people are looking for mentorship.
What Makes a Good Mentor?
Mentorship goes much deeper than simply having a senior employee preach to a junior employee about how to achieve career success. A good mentor-mentee relationship is a two-way street that fosters both professional and personal connections.
Mentorship gives individuals the opportunity to connect meaningfully, which is more important than ever in a world that’s growing away from community and connection — despite countless ways to “stay in touch.”
Employees that participate in mentorship tend to have higher job satisfaction, increased job efficacy, and upward mobility in their careers.
Qualities of a Good Mentor
1. Wants to share relevant knowledge and expertise
Having a wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise is obviously important, but what good is it if the mentor keeps that information close to their chest?
Good mentors have not only a willingness but a keen desire to share this information. They possess empathy and remember what it was like to be just starting out in their career or field. This drives them to pay it forward.
2. Displays positivity and enthusiasm
Mentorship is not a chore, and a good mentor does not view it as such. They view it as a privilege to engage with their mentee. They have a genuine excitement for being a mentor, and this shows in their positive attitude and enthusiastic communications between meetings.
3. Provides honest and constructive feedback
Yes, mentors should be positive. But that doesn’t mean they should avoid providing honest feedback.
If a mentor simply pats their mentee on the back and tells them they’re doing great, the mentee will not grow as an employee and as a person. Mentors should feel comfortable with pushing the mentee out of their comfort zone.
At the same time, it is important that all feedback is constructive and enables the mentee to walk away with steps they can take to improve.
4. Exhibits active listening skills
A mentoring relationship where the mentor speaks and the mentee listens is incomplete.
Without listening to their mentee, how will a mentor know how to guide them in the right direction?
A good mentor knows how to demonstrate active listening. Active listening means listening to truly understand and not simply waiting for a turn to respond.
5. Has a growth mindset
Traditionally, mentors have more experience and expertise than their mentees in at least one field. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have much to learn.
A good mentor knows that their mentee provides an additional learning opportunity and makes it a point to value the perspective they bring to the table.
Grow Mentorship by Developing Human-Centered Skills
The qualities of a good mentor need to be developed. So anyone who wants to be part of a successful mentorship needs to evolve their human-centered leadership skills.
Organizations that value developing leadership skills such as communication, giving and receiving feedback, collaboration, building an inclusive workplace, and more, often find natural mentorships forming. By developing these human-centered skills, everyone at a company benefits.
Whether a seasoned manager or a first-time people-leader, further growing human-centered skills allows them to become more than just “the boss,” but also a trusted resource for those who report into them.
In addition, individual contributors benefit from human-centered leadership development by collaborating more effectively, dealing with challenges successfully, and gaining confidence perhaps stepping into a people-leadership role.
With Verb’s leadership development platform, your employees can activate the human-centered skills required in a thriving modern workplace.